Sudbury toilets to be free as part of change which could bring patrols to vandal hit Belle Vue

County councillor John Sayers outside Belle Vue House in the park, the house may be redeveloped to make way for further improvements to the park.
County councillor John Sayers outside Belle Vue House in the park, the house may be redeveloped to make way for further improvements to the park.
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It is hoped changes to charges and staffing of toilets in Sudbury will see improvements throughout the town, including patrols of Belle Vue Park – recently hit by vandalism.

The toilets are managed by the town council on behalf of Babergh District Council, but are described as old and expensive to maintain.

Vandalism at Belle Vue Park, Sudbury

Vandalism at Belle Vue Park, Sudbury

There are plans for new toilet facilities to be included as part of the development of the town bus station, however, with this now on hold, changes have been announced by the town council.

The 20p user cost for the facilities in Gaol Lane will no longer apply and the toilets will not be permanently manned.

Instead, the current staff will continue to open and lock the toilets at the same times, while carrying out checks and cleaning duties at regular intervals.

They will be redeployed under the Babergh community caretaker scheme to patrol the town centre, picking up litter and clearing weeds as they appear.

They will also patrol Belle Vue Park in order to try to prevent anti-social behaviour.

In a report to councillors discussing the decision, Sudbury town clerk Jacqui Howells, said: “It is important to keep public facilities in Sudbury, but the district council is reluctant to continue ploughing money at the present rate into these facilities.

“When an agreement is made on the bus station location, we have been promised that new public facilities will be incorporated in the plans, which will be user-friendly and fit for purpose.

“In the meantime, we have to find a way of preserving public toilets in Sudbury, while at the same time reducing costs.

“Babergh will continue to contribute the same budget as it is currently doing, but will receive much more value for money.”

Sudbury town council members agreed to the change at last Tuesday’s full council meeting.

The changes are expected to come into force from Monday, April 3.